Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Aren't staff meant to be neutral?

I was looking at the list of supporters of both leadership candidates last night and on both of them I recognised a number of names of people whom I believe to be party or parliamentary staff. I was under the impression that such staff were meant to remain publicly neutral - can anyone tell me if this is the case? If it is, shouldn't both campaigns remove the names of such people from their supporters list?

This comes on top of allegations that staff resources have been used to promote one side of the argument on policy debates at recent federal party conferences. I suspect there might have to be a question to the Federal Executive at the next federal conference in Liverpool asking them to clarify just what the roles of staff should be in internal party matters, especially where such staff are funded by public money.

8 comments:

Duncan Borrowman said...

Federal Party staff are certainly required to be neutral

Bernard Salmon said...

Thanks Duncan - does the definition of federal party staff include those who work for individual MPs or are they not covered by that? And what about people who are employed by council groups?

Duncan Borrowman said...

I am pretty sure it doesn't. It covers Cowley Street contract staff and POLD staff who work for the parliamentary party, not individual MPs

Nick said...

People who work for MPs or Council groups are not required to beneutral. As long as they are Party members they can, and do, endorse who they like

Robin Young said...

I thought we stopped cutting the balls off people when we employed them some years ago.

Jeremy Hargreaves said...

It applies to staff employed by the Federal Party - not sure about the position of people employed by other elements of the party proper, eg the Scottish party.

However rules like this cannot apply to staff employed by other people, such as by MPs, or Councils. Such people are accountable to their employer (the individual MP or the local authority, in those cases), not to the party. So in fact I think people employed by 'public money' is the wrong focus - the funding for posts which could require people to be neutral, is party money, not public money.

Anonymous said...

No federal staff are staff employed by the federal party. MPs staff are employed by the MP and are not party staff - unless of course thye are emplyed by the Parly Party!

Iain Rubie Dale said...

I'm pretty sure that staff employed by the Scotish Party are also required to be neutral. As I'm employed by Elspeth and not the party I can support whoever I wish, which is why I have felt comfortable in allowing my name to go forward as a supporter of Chris.

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